Saturday, 30 January 2010

Carbooty Treasure and Freebies!

Woke up to a bitterly cold day with a crisp coating of the most enormous hailstones!
Little patches of white throughout the garden, but nothing much. Certainly not enough to put us off our Treasure Hunting at the local Car Boot Sale!
It did seem a bit quiet at the carboot sale, not too many people about, but we had a good morning - we found one or two things.
How about this - inner cleanliness as advocated by the Daily Mail Newspaper 1937!
There were lots of these old papers 40p each (3 for £1) but I contented myself with just a couple - I mean - just how many does a girl need! Unless i do as Twiggypeasticks suggests and decoupage the chicken shed with it! Do you think the chickens will be interested in the events of 1937?
It would certainly keep me busy and out of mischief!

I found a little part box of Manila tags - so cute! You know me and anything vaguely paper-ish!
And they are the very thing to help with the 'Suitcase Project'!

Enough said!
More suitcases too - just waiting for a good clean up and polish. The little ones are so sweet - they have children's names in them, I think they were perhaps used by children being evacuated during the war.

We came home via Asda and a hot cooked chicken, to warm up with chicken sandwiches and nice hot tea.
Hubby P was in a 'go go' mood - wanting to get lots done, remember its freezing outside and trying to hailstone on us. Still he set to cutting wood for the fire with me as trusty assistant (mainly making cups of fortifying tea). Next appears a ladder! and up on the roof he goes - it must be said, that for weeks he has wanted to do this little job. He just wanted to take down the now redundant TV Ariel and sky dish (we no longer have a TV - choosing to do other activities in our spare time) - surprisingly it didn't take that long, and Hubby P said he felt that much better, he never did like the sky dish - too modern looking for our humble little cottage - it offended him!
So we loaded the trusty van with the wires and sky dish and whatnot (I kept the big long pole the ariel was on, I want to use it for/to hold my washing line) - and headed for the recycling centre - my weekend excursion, my weekend fix!
Look what I found in the metal skip!

A complete patio set - cast aluminium (needing a rub down and a paint), a table and 4 chairs, all in perfect order. And I must say pretty heavy weight - I felt it as I tried to hoyk them out of the skip!

I did ask permission to take them first of course - but who's going to refuse a batty old woman, they are quite use to me now.

So I have stacked them in the yard for now, I will have to wait until the weathers a bit better before I can rub them down and give them a coat of shiny new paint.
What a good find - what a good afternoon.
Hubby P did murmur something about us taking more away - weight for weight, than we ever take to the tip. But he won't be moaning when we have nice new seats for summer - and it means he won't have to build another garden bench!

Take care xx Keep warm !

Friday, 29 January 2010

Magical Monents on a Grey Dreary day!

Just had to share this little bit of magic with you!
When i got up this morning the day was cold and grey, drizzly rain and leaden sky. The house was cold too - the log burner having gone out over night, there was condensation on the windows - pretty miserable, so I set about lighting the fire.
As you can see on one of the two windows we have in the sitting room, I have a few hanging crystals, picked up here and there, given by and exchanged with friends. They to hang limply, no shining in the sunshine today!
But the strangest thing happened - as I turned from lighting the fire, I saw a bright fire like glow on top of my mule chest - amongst my geodes and crystals. It was so bright I thought something was on fire. Maybe someone had left a candle burning (although who I dont know - but these things flash into your mind!).

There was a faint ray of sunlight that had reflected off/through a crystal in the window - on to the Amethyst geode and on to the quartz cluster - the quartz looked as if it were on fire, these photos do not capture in any way, the brightness, or intensity of the glow.

Again the photos are rubbish really - there was a mini rainbow effect across the front of the amethyst geode, and the quartz radiated all this light which in turn lit up the crystals around it and bounced all around the room!
Quite magical! It lasted for a little while, and cheered the morning!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Storage Solutions and an odd Thrifty Snippet!

Hope you are having a good week!
All very busy here - still busy with the 'Suitcase Project'! - hopefully be finished over the weekend. Its this nuisance thing of Hubby P having to go to work - when I heed him here to 'make things happen' with my Project!! Still I suppose we do need his wages for little things like food and stuff!!
Been having a bit of a sort out - you know - dragging all those boxes from under the bed and whatnot. Its amazing what you find! all that crafty stuff you had almost forgotten you had.
So rather than put it all back - under the bed, where it will stay (too much trouble to get out to use) I looked about for some 'Storage Solutions' - as they say in the ads.
Now the other week I bought 3 hat boxes from the carboot, you know the sort - they fit inside one another, or stack. They were not very pretty, but they were cheap - pennies I think, and I thought they may come in handy (as you do - I have a shed full of 'handy' things!).
So in 'cover/decoupage everything in sight mode - I set to! Hubby P says he dares'nt stand still too long for fear of being covered 'stuck and glued '- and covered in something jazzy!!
I like to use rather old, rough papers, I like the faded colours and textures.

I particularly liked this little chap!

I wanted to use these boxes to hold crafty stuff, the idea being that if it was easy to reach down off a shelf I may be more inclined to use it.
I have things like these wonderful wooden printing blocks - just begging to be used again!

I used to make all my own wrapping paper using the printing blocks. Just used children's poster paint on heavy tissue (Hubby P brings the most wonderful tissue paper home from work - its waste, they just throw it in the bin! Needless to say it finds a home with me!).
The wrapping paper looked really very pretty - I even cut some potatoes into stamps and used those one year - very effective.
Sorry I haven't any to show you - I must make time to do some more - now I have unearthed my printing blocks!

Boxes make a nice little stack!

Just a little 'Thrifty Snippet!'

Whilst doing all this sticking and gluing I used the last of a big bottle of PVA glue.

What a good, big, strong bottle thinks I - shame to just bin it, so I remembered something the 'Handyman' (who worked at the Laboratories when I was a Lab Tec) had shown me. He lived through the War and was full of thrifty ideas.

Cut a couple of inches down behind the handle.

And then across to meet your first cut. You can see its not hard - I'm using my bread knife, don't know that that's a good idea. Mind you it was my Grandmothers - she had it for many, many years, and I imagine she used it for all sorts of things. I distinctly remember her cutting down small shrubs with it - she sent me indoors 'nip and fetch the bread knife, that'l sort it!' - she say!

Anyway, back to the bottle - you should end up with it looking something like this. You can trim it up a bit with the scissors, I did.

You then have a handy -'Storage Solution' (can you see a theme here!) - and you can use it either way up - as it is here or lay it on its side with the handle towards you. Whichever way it sits best on your shelf/in your cupboard.
As you can see I am using mine to store my birdseed in, I am tired of loose bags spilling over in the cupboard. It sits nicely on the bottom shelf.
Bert - the Handyman had a shelf of these sort of boxes all labelled up, holding all his nails, screws, tools etc.
xxx That's all for now xx Take care xxx

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Random Crafting Session - Thrifty Snippets! Gift Boxes!

Hope you all had a good weekend!
We had a good one, I found one or two nice things at the Carboot sale, I will take a few photos tomorrow then I can show them to you. And we've had a little visit to B&Q to buy supplies for the suitcase project. I don't think Hubby P just understood how pressing the 'Project' was/is, so I think he was a bit 'surprised' (miffed) when I said 'right then what do you need to make this happen' and flashed the cash.
He was ok when we got home and I had imparted some of my 'enthusiasm' to/on him! We made a start pic's to follow!
Thrifty Snippets ! this week I had bit of a bad week - I have a trapped nerve in my neck, and it flares up every now and the - usually when I have been doing something that I shouldn't - that includes lifting, carrying, stretching, hoovering, digging - the list goes on and on - soooooooo boringgggg!!! A Girl has got to live!
Anyway it meant I had to have a couple of quiet days just sat, keeping warm and crafting, so I thought I would cover some old boxes to make gift boxes. With the idea that most of the gifts I give this year should be Thrifty homespun delights - far more thoughtful and personal I think, I thought a nice unusual, pretty box would be nice.
So here are few rather random pic's -
Covering a rather large hat box with 'scraps' from an old children's book - I just paste them down with PVA glue'

The Christmassy box I just gave a coating of PVA to strengthen and give a shine to.

This is an old Harrods box - I picked it up somewhere, but I didn't want to use it with Harrods written all over it! So I covered it in scraps from a children's book, you can see inside the lid is a pretty picture of some lovely ladies!

The round drum shaped box was a peppermint box, I removed the Peppermint label from the top and covered it in scraps of music paper - equally acceptable for a lady or gent!

The Harrods box has pretty people on the outer lid too, and fairies on the sides.

I shall put them away in my Gift Drawer, ready for the next gifty occasion.

You can see the Harrods pattern, pretty, but my homespun gifts although of a similar quality are unique to me, and specially made for my loved ones - so a special pretty box is needed.
What crafty/thrifty things have you been up to, leave me a comment - don't let me babble on and on, its nice to know who's listening!
xx Bye for now xx

Thursday, 21 January 2010

First Snowdrops Of The Year! A Cheery Sight!

Hope you've all had a good few days.
Look what I found this morning when I went to feed the rabbits!
The very first tiny, tiny snowdrops. Just peeking out, and shaking out their pretty little white dresses, like ballerinas getting ready to perform.

There was no sign of them yesterday. I wonder if I had hurried them on a little. You see on Sunday when we cleaned out the chicken shed, the last couple of shovel fulls of dirty bedding/litter would'nt fit in the bags for the tip. So a scattered it on the garden beds, thinking it will soon get dragged down by the worms and composted. Now as you know (or maybe not) animal bedding - when soiled with the muck and urine, heats up quickly, so I wondered if this little heap had warmed the soil enough to force the snowdrops. No snowdrops in the rest of the garden yet.
Anyway - they are pretty and a welcome sign of the coming Spring. Have you got snowdrops yet?

Just a couple of pic's of Carbooty finds - nothing too pretty, but useful!

Oh - and you will see my super new jam pan I found at the Recycling Centre.

Yes, another hotwater bottle - a Girl can't have enough! This one is so small and dinky, I shall have to make a little cover for it, its ideal for popping on my neck/back to warm the sore bit. Hubby P suggested I make a kind of haversack - a portable back warmer - going a bit far I think.
I managed to pursuade a stall holder to sell me the pinking shears he was using to cut up card to make labels. They were/are a really good sharp pair, I've been looking for some for ages, he sold them to me for £1 - a bargin I thought.
And a book - there are so many at the carboot, and for pennies - how can you not! This is rather cute - all about pigs, ideas for sewing projects and patterns and templates. I've decided what I will do is take copies of the templates - make a file for them or something, because its only really the templates that I use. Then I can sell the book on (ebay) or give it to the Charity shop - I think I will do this with a lot of my crafty books - they take up such a lot of room.
These little piggies are so cute - I can feel a piggie themed project comming on!

A lot of people collect pig things - they are such amusing animals. Hubby P has a thing for them, he would dearly love to have some pigs. He has to be content with his pottery ones for now - most Christmasses I buy him a new pig. Although this year I found him a sweet little vintage squeaky Donkey! - and Yes! he was delighted!

I found a pile of these too.

They are the very old heavy cardboard files with hessian spines, and lots of interesting age related knocks and stains. They have been used in some sort of engineering office I think. Not everyones 'cup of tea' I know - but I love old paper - printed, plain, stained, crumpled or whatever. I just love the colours, texture, and how they look when put together - well - you know what I mean!
I thought I could cover some of these, a montague even - with some of my stash of interesting vintagey magazines, newspapers, and childrens books.

Look - I even found an old Camberwick Green book - bit tatty and some pages show the work of some little busybody, working away with their crayons. But how nice it would be to have a Camberwick Green File! I could keep all my piggy templates and whatnot in it.
I'll let you know, and take some pic's when I've had a play around with them.
On to Thrifty Snippets!
'You'll have the shirt off my back' was Hubby P's initial response to my - well, what I thought was a tentative enquiry about letting go of his favorite jumper. I reasoned that although he liked the jumper, he had had it for many years - it came from a Charity shop, and Yes - I know it always washes well, but it was getting beyound even my mending/darning skills.
He only wore it for work, it often came home covered in ink, but it was dropping apart - curiously just around the neck and shoulders -- no holes in the body!
What I did'nt mention was the fact that I really fancied having some of those knitted cotton dishcloths. Trying to be Green you see - No more J cloths for me I thought, when I can knit some, which will wash and wash again!
It wasn't untill I looked at the price of the cotton for knitting on ebay that I thought Ummmmm
I could buy a dozen packs of J cloths for the price of that cotton. So I looked about for a cheaper option.
The 'option' was on Hubby P's back!
One nice big cotton jumper - that will do nicely. It was falling to bits - Honestly!

So I unravelled it, and experimented in knitting it up.

And it seems just fine. Admittedly it is a bit of a grey grubby colour, but then the wool/cotton is a grey with a dark fleck, so no pristine white/cream dishcloths for me. But Hey - so long as they do the job, and they wash well, they will just fine.
(Please don't look at the quality of the knitting - its not one of my - better skills shall we say. A dish cloth is about all Ican manage! lol!

And what have I spent my day doing ? Well! - polishing my suitcases - as you do!
Another exciting project in the planning stage - suitcases needed!

That will keep you guessing! More of the Suitcase Project later!
xx That's all for now xx Take care xx

Monday, 18 January 2010

Busy Weekend - Nice To Be Out In The Sunshine!

Well! How nice to be out in the fresh air this weekend, and it stayed fine.
Hope you all had a good one.
We made the most of it, we visited carboot sales both Saturday, and Sunday - saw lots of friends - carbooty type of friends, it was nice! And Hubby P got lots of interesting things, so he was happy! He is - as we speak - head buried in a book reserching something or other about corkscrews of all things. You know what they say - 'it takes all kinds to make a world!!'
We made good use of the fine weather and Saturday afternoon saw us taking all the large cardboard boxes etc (from Christmas) and rabbit bedding (I gave the rabbits a good clean out) - to the recycling centre.
Sunday afternoon whilst Hubby P sawed up firewood, we - that is Rich my son (who was hanging around doing nothing productive - always dangerous thing to admit to when I am around) and I cleaned out the chicken shed. Poor things were in desperate need of some clean bedding - but its just been too wet and snowy to attempt it. And they wouldn't thank me - whilst the bedding was deep - although a bit smelly, it was warm!
Anyway Rich set to, my days of actually doing a lot of digging or forking bedding are fading fast - I usually end up doing myself a mischief, so my role was one of Foreman, or Director of Operations and chief bucket/bag holder!
We soon had them sorted, and they love a good thick layer of woodchip. Billy the rabbit hampers things a bit, he does so want to sit on your feet and inspect each forkfull of muck!
Being out and about in the garden I noticed just the tiniest of signs that Spring is on its way.

Just an odd little flower, shining its little socks off.

And a few green shoots - all most welcome!

Cleaning the chickens out on Sunday ment another trip to the Recycling Center, and what goodies were to be found there!
As you know I always go along, to have a look what people are throwing away - I find it facinating - sad but true!
Anyway Saturday I was rambling along nosing in all the skips whilst Hubby P unloaded all the smelly rabbit muck. One of the workers there asked if I was 'Okay' (some nutty woman pokin about the skips - whatever next!) I said I was looking for old buckets and whatnot to put plants in - which has a ring of truth about it. 'Oh' she said -' there's an old pan over there, if you want it' - Yes, its a young woman who works there, and a good job she does too - gets a bit of stick I think working with all those men. So I went to find the pan - she must have pulled it out of the skip earlier - and what a good pan! It's a really good heavy bottomed jam pan, very clean and like new. So I said 'Thankyou very much' - I have never had a proper jam pan before.

On the way back to the van, I noticed this brazier thingy - a bit rust but fine and sturdy!

Ideal for burning all those twiggy bits in the garden, and I always burn all the 'sensitive stuff - you know letters with personal information, bank details etc, Usually I use them to light the fire, but in summer when we have no fire this will be really useful for disposing of them.
So I hoked this out of the skip too!

This was Sunday afternoons find - browsing the wood skip at the Recycling Center, I had to do a bit of ingenious manoeuvring with a chair to get it out. Hubby P just waits in the van - he's quite use to my browsing habits!
Isn't it cute - and I just love is battered shabby look - obviously too battered for someone - and they skipped it!
This afternoon I gave it a good wash and a quick coat of wood preservative, cut a bit of the hedge back and fastened it in position - all ready for the birds.
I do hope they like it!

Bit of a Thrifty Snippet!
Whilst I was searching for the bird seed and whatnot I found an old packet of fatballs at the bottom of a bucket - all wet and yucky! It was a full packet and I thought what a waste - they had gone soft and were falling apart. So I took them into the house and boiled them up with some water to remove the fatty bit - saving all the seed.
I melted some fresh lard and mixed this seed into it, I had a good scrabble in the cupboard and found some sultanas and porrige oats, oh, and a handful of rabbit food -not in the cupboard obviously - but you know from the rabbit feed bin!!!

I saved the nets from the old fatballs and using the little aluminium tins (from the steak and kidney puddings we had last week) as moulds I filled the nets with the mixture.

I thought the nets I could sew up and they could go in the fatball holder. The leftover mixture filled the tins, and this comes out quite easily when the lard sets - comes out as little 'bird puddings!

I put one in the new bird table late afternoon - it will be interesting to see how soon the little birds find it. Mind you we have Geofrey the mouse who lives just under where the bird table now sits, and he comes out at night - we see him sat in the apple tree and helping himself to the fatballs that hang from its branches. I bet he's found the birds pudding - a feast for a tiny mouse!
xx That's all for now, carbooty finds to show you another day! xx

Friday, 15 January 2010

And The Winner Is!!

Hi Everyone! Hope you are all ready for the weekend! I am - I've a list of jobs to do, mainly cleaning up after the snow. All the paths are full of dirty slushy stuff!
I promised you a New Year Giveaway - and here it is, a little goodie parcel all ready to go off to the winner.
And the Winner is Da Da!!! Tracey ( Tracey's - Crafty Scraps)
Well done you - email me your details and I can get Postie to bring it on over to you.
Just a quick and easy Thrifty Snippet!
I was just having a sort through my veg basket - as you do. I really needed to use up the shallots I bought at Christmas (I put them in a stew for Hubby P's tea). Looking at the little bags they came in, I thought how sturdy they are, and how awful to send them to landfill via the dustbin - they will never rot down (not to self - don't buy veg in nylon nets!), so what could I use them for?

Well earlier in the week I had sewn up the net bag used to hold the peanuts for the birds - the bigger birds rip big holes in it. So I thought I could use the onion net.
I made a bit of a funnel arrangement with an old envelope, and filled it with the nuts.

Then sewed up the hole, and made a hanging loop.

Works a treat, and just look - no sooner had I put it up and we had our first visitor, a striking Coal Tit (at least that's what I think he is - or possible a Large Tit? not very good with bird identification!)

There were a whole family of these Long Tailed Tits - so pretty!

Well that's all for today - off to catch up with Larkrise on i player!
xx Take care xx

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A Treat To Read And A Little Thrrifty Snippet!

Just really a little quick post, just to show you I have Not Just Sat And 'Played Around' Reading Blogs All Day' - as was inferred by nameless persons - shall we say' of this family!
Although this cold weather - with a nice roaring fire - its very tempting!
No indeed-y I have been very industrious today - thinking in a Thrifty manner - of keeping warm.
But before all that - just look what Hubby P brought home for me today! A real delight - one more reason to keep the post short - then I can get stuck into Country Living
and the wonderful fantasy world they try to sell - can anyone ever afford to buy the stuff they write about?
Still we can dream!
I bet people with Country Living lives wont be messing about with old blankets and hotwater bottles!
Anyway - here's todays Thrifty Snippet!
During one foray to the carboot sale I managed to get a (new) hotwater bottle £1, and a childs fleece blanket 20p.
We do use a lot of hotwater bottles in this house - I am almost always to be found sat with a nice warm bottle at my dodgy back. So the more the merrier!
So I cut a rough pattern around the bottle (actually it was a pattern I cut a while ago) and cut the pieces out of the blanket - I've done it double thickness because the fleece is quite thin.

I had to sew the two edges of the 'opening' edges together because I using the fabric doubled up - otherwise - if single I would just hem them.
I always use my trusty 'treadle' sewing machine - no electriciyt used - Thrifty or what!
Mind you lots used in much making of cups of 'inspirational' tea!

Next pin the pieces together - remember you are going to turn the whole thing through, so get the opening bits in the right order.

Sew around the outside of the whole thing, and trim the edges.

Turn through and pop your bottle in!

One snug little hot water bottle.

The blue lent itself to our household quite nicely, there being a few - well all men apart from me, and you know what they are like - I think 'pink and frilly' can work in a lot of ways! - but they have a bit of a problem with it!

Here's a nice pink one I made earlier from an old bedspread, I mostly use this one - well its pink isn't it!

Not to be too hard on Hubby P - he does seek out nice things for me in his lunch hour. So I thought I would treat him to one of there for his tea.

I have just descovered where to buy them here on Anglesey, we hadn't had a pudding for years. These little puddings were a staple in the Fish and Chip shops of Lancashire when I was a girl. We even lived near the factory that made them, and I grew up with the smell of the cooking pies and puddings emenating from a big chimney with 'Hollands' written all the was up/or down it!
I believe a German company owns it now - as with so many places it has had to go abroad for he funding to continue, and yet it seemed to be doing so well, everyone ate Hollands pies, it employed a lot of the town, even had special 'Traditional' type vans sign painted with their well known name and logo - its a strange old world!
Still - we enjoyed the puddings for tea!
xx That's all for now - Country Living awaits! xx